Locals remember tornado on five-year anniversary

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DEKALB AND OGLE COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) -- Looking back while moving forward, that’s what many people are doing to remember the day a tornado changed their life.

"I made the phone call to John and just said hey there is a tornado and it is a big one and it's coming our way and I think it is going to hit us," Lauren Hintzsche said.

On April 9, 2015 Lauren and John Hintzche’s lives changed forever when an EF-4 tornado met John at the doorstep of their Lindenwood home.

"Went out back and saw that the buildings were destroyed and a part of the house was gone," John Hintzche said.

Ogle County Sheriff Brian VanVickle saw his house leveled in the storm, but he doesn’t really remember the damage, he remembers the support.

"The response from the community was phenomenal. The tornado happened on Thursday night and by Sunday morning my house was completely cleaned up," VanVickle said.

First responders in Rochelle learned a lot that day. They remember the power and damage but one thing sticks out most, no deaths in Rochelle.

"When you do your priorities right, life first, so first report of no injuries that's huge, second report of nobody missing that's great also," Rochelle Fire Chief Dave Sawlsville said.

Residents and community leaders agree, the community recovered together.

"We all knew we had a great community beforehand, but that just revivified it and made it that much more believable," VanVickle said.